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How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019

How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019

By DAN FORTEZA

If you’re planning to visit Sri Lanka and looking for a guide on how to apply for a Sri Lanka e-Visa or e-Tourist Visa, then you’re in the right place. With Sri Lanka’s tropical climate, sandy beaches and scenic train rides, I’m sure no one can say no in skipping this beautiful South Asian country on their travel bucket list!

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
Kandy to Ella Train: The Most Scenic Train Ride in Sri Lanka

WAYS IN OBTAINING SRI LANKA'S TOURIST VISA

  • Apply e-Visa / ETA online – This is the online visa application process that I’ll be discussing on this blog. Moreover, visitors are STRONGLY urged to use the online system to avoid lengthy delays at the port of entry. e-Visa costs USD 35 (please see update below). An application can be done either as an individual or as a group. 
  • Get Visa on Arrival/VOA – Visitors with tourism purposes may visit Sri Lanka with a Visa on Arrival for up to 30 days. There is a counter at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) for people who arrive without a visa, although you’ll have to wait with the other visa-less masses which can take several hours and then pay a higher fee: USD 40 (please see update below).
  • You can also obtain visas at Sri Lankan embassies abroad. This is not very convenient though.

NOTE: If you’re a citizen from these 21 countries*, unfortunately, you’re not eligible to get an e-VISA or VOA but instead are required visa in advance from one of Sri Lankan diplomatic missions.

*Afghanistan; Cameroon; Republic of the Congo; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Cote d’Ivoire; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mali; Myanmar; Nigeria; North Korea; Sierra Leone; Sudan; Syria; Uganda.

UPDATE as of July 31, 2019: Tourism Minister John Amaratunga says tourists or those visiting for business purposes could get their FREE visa on arrival or by applying online. The measure will be effective for six months, starting August 1, 2019. 

e-Visa, also known as Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), is an official authorization for a Short Visit to Sri Lanka and is issued electronically. The ETA is introduced with the intention of providing an efficient, reliable and simplified service to those who visit Sri Lanka. ETA holders will be issued a 30 day Short Visit visa at the port of entry in Sri Lanka. The ETA has taken effect since January 1, 2012.

NOTE: If you’re a citizen of Maldives, Seychelles, and Singapore, you do NOT need a visa to enter Sri Lanka (per basis of reciprocity). How lucky!

But don’t you worry! Getting an e-Visa is not that complicated. I received my ETA document attached via email on the same day I applied! The process is fast, simple and straightforward.

But again, just like in other visa application blogs I’ve written, no one can give you the guarantee of your Sri Lankan e-Visa’s approval – not me, not even a lawyer or a travel agent. If anyone does, is most likely a scammer.

As a travel blogger, what I can offer you here is just a guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that e-Visa. =)

GET YOUR SRI LANKA E-VISA IN 4 EASY STEPS

STEP 1: GET YOUR ROOM ACCOMMODATION READY

When filling up the application form online, you need to indicate your Address in Sri Lanka under the “Contact Details” section. if you’re not visiting a family or friend, fill it in with the address of your hostel/hotel.

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
Contact Details section from Sri Lanka's e-visa website | Dantravels.org

You can book a room at any Sri Lanka hotel through Agoda or Booking.com. I usually book my room accommodations through booking.com. Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

If hotel isn’t to your liking, try AirBnb. Airbnbs are immersed in neighborhoods, condos, and townhomes. There is a feeling you get when you stay in an Airbnb that makes you feel like you belong in that city or town. Since it is someone’s home, there is a certain amount of pride you feel while staying there. I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

If you’re new to AirBnB, then you can get up to 42 USD free travel credit by signing up via this link.

STEP 2: APPLY AT SRI LANKA'S e-VISA WEBSITE

For you to be able to facilitate your application ONLINE, just follow the through the below steps:

1. Go to www.eta.gov.lk and select your preferred language (English for me!) Then click the “Apply” tab and under “Submission of ETA application by the applicant”, click the “Apply” link. (If you are applying as a group, there is an appropriate link for that in the next section below it.)

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
From Sri Lanka's e-visa website | Dantravels.org

Then it will lead you to the terms and conditions page, just choose “I Agree”.

2. Under Tourist ETA section, select the option that applies to you. Since I was applying as an individual, I clicked on “Apply for an Individual”.

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
From Sri Lanka's e-visa website | Dantravels.org

3. Complete the requested information under sections:

    • Applicant Information;
    • Child information in parent’s passport (if applicable);
    • Travel Information;
    • Contact Details – Add here your hotel name and its address from Step 1.
    • Declaration

Then confirm that the information you provided are correct before click the “next” button.

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
From Sri Lanka's e-visa website | Dantravels.org

4. On the next page – Review your information. Make sure your email is correct since your ETA will be sent to you via email. Then confirm to proceed with your payment.

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
From Sri Lanka's e-visa website | Dantravels.org

REMEMBER: Once you proceed, you can NO longer change any of the information, so make sure you’ve got everything right.

STEP 3. PAY THE VISA FEE

You will then be directed to the next page to provide your payment.

Pay the relevant ETA processing fee using your electronic payment cards (credit card/e-commerce enabled debit cards) and submit the application. Only Visa, Master and American Express Cards are accepted.

HOW MUCH DOES THE VISA COST?

  • Countries from SAARC:
    • Tourist visa with Double Entry for 30 days – USD 20.00
  • All Other Countries:
    • Tourist visa with Double Entry for 30 days – USD 35.00

Check out the detailed visa fee here.

NOTE: Payment is non-refundable & non-transferable.

UPDATE as of July 31, 2019: Tourism Minister John Amaratunga says tourists or those visiting for business purposes could get their FREE visa on arrival or by applying online. The measure will be effective for six months, starting August 1, 2019. This is Sri Lanka’s latest effort to revive the island nation’s lucrative tourism industry, which was badly hit by the Easter bomb attacks.

Check out the related news here.

I submitted my e-visa application on Aug 1, 2019 and thus, I did not pay anything. It’s totally FREE!

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
Acknowledgment page from Sri Lanka's e-visa website | Dantravels.org

The acknowledgment page prompts you with notification – “Your ETA application to visit Sri Lanka has been received. You will receive a response to your application within 24 hours.

However, there was no confirmation email that your application has been received so just be patient for the next 24 hours.

STEP 4. WAIT FOR THE RESULTS OF YOUR APPLICATION

After you completed the whole online application process, you just have to wait for the result of your e-Visa application.

In my case, I submitted my application at around 8:30 AM (GMT+8) and then I received an email at around 2:40 PM (GMT+8), the same day, that my e-Visa application status is APPROVED!

Once approved, print out your e-visa approval confirmation. Upon arrival, it is advisable for you to bring a copy of the ETA approval notice along with you

Dan Travels How To Apply Online For A Sri Lanka e-Visa / e-Tourist Visa in 2019
My e-Visa / ETA notice sent via email | Dantravels.org

See how easy it is to apply for Sri Lanka e-Visa? I hope this blog helps you in any way. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a reply in the comment section below. I’ll reply as soon as I can.

With all that said, I wish you all the best on your Sri Lanka e-Visa application!

SUMMARY:

Visa Type: ETA / e-Visa
Visa Validity: 30 Days from your initial arrival
Entry type: Double Entry
Visa Fee: FREE

BOOKING ESSENTIALS

  • Hotel / Hostel
    • Booking.com. I usually book my hostel accommodation at booking.com. Thus, I recommend you guys trying it as well.  Room accommodation ranges from cheap hostels to luxury hotels. Book hostels through booking.com as they have free cancellation or pay-at-the-hotel option.

Use my link to book your hostel and you’ll get 10% of your booking back after your stay. Click this link to get that discount.

    • Airbnb. Try Airbnb in finding comfy and cozy rooms! I have used Airbnb on some of my other trips and I loved it!

Have you tried Airbnb? Sign up with my link and you will get up to 42 USD (2,200 Php) off your first stay. Click this link to get that discount.

  • Flights
    • KAYAK. All of my flight bookings are all from KAYAK. Kayak is one of the world’s leading travel search engines and searches hundreds of travel sites.

I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.

  •  Travel Insurance
    • World Nomads. If you don’t have travel insurance when times get tough, basically you are screwed. Traveling always comes with inherent risks attached. Whether you are trekking in the Nepalese mountains or wandering the streets of Colombo, unforeseen events can suddenly upend your world. Generally speaking, travel insurance covers you for the following: Medical Costs – hospital visits, emergencies, evacuations; Property Loss – luggage and their contents; Travel Issues – accommodation and transportation expenses. Thus, I highly recommend you guys getting a travel insurance. I bought one from the World Nomads (available in 130+ countries) where most travelers get their travel insurances.

Go to this link to get to your World Nomads travel insurance.

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